H&M plans to close 250 stores as pandemic drives sales online

H&M plans to close 250 stores as pandemic drives sales online
An H&M store in central Stockholm in April. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Swedish clothing giant H&M reported better-than-expected results in the third quarter, but it has been hit hard by the pandemic and expects to close around 250 shops worldwide next year.

Net profit for the period June to August came in at 1.8 billion Swedish kronor ($201 million, 172 million euros), compared to 3.9 billion kronor for the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 18.7 percent to 51 billion kronor.

Pre-tax profit came in at 2.4 billion kronor, an improvement over the 2.0 billion kronor reported in preliminary results published in mid-September.

“Our recovery is going better than expected… With more full-price sales than expected and strict cost control, we returned to profit already in the third quarter,” Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M, said in a statement.

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Fashion retailers, especially fast-fashion brands like H&M, have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic.

In mid-April, the Scandinavian company temporarily closed around 80 percent of its stores worldwide.

Currently, three percent, or 166 shops, remain shut.

In its second quarter H&M posted a net loss of some five billion kronor, compared to a net profit of 4.6 billion a year earlier while revenue halved to 28.7 billion kronor.

In 2021, H&M, which has around 5,000 shops worldwide, expects it will need to cut about 250.


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